Before everyone runs out and buys a new bathing suit, there are a few things we need to consider before getting into this natatorium business.
First, does the city even have any business operating and maintaining a natatorium? It seems to me that with the troubles the city has with picking up trash, repairing roads, and handling storm water, it has no business operating and maintaining a natatorium.
Second, does the city have the “horsepower” to operate and maintain a natatorium? You may remember that for many, many years the city struggled mightily and performed poorly trying to maintain and operate the 16th street pool, a simple and straight-forward system. Can the city manage a complex system like a natatorium? I have my doubts.
Third, how does the city intend to pay for the operating and maintenance costs of a natatorium? After construction, it is estimated that it will cost $1.7 million per year to service the construction costs. For a 12-month year, that’s nearly $142,000 per month! If you drop off December and January, our “winter” months, the debt service amount goes up to $170,000 month, or nearly $5,700 per day, EVERY day! Where’s that kind of money going to come from? So far, presentations to council have only spoken of vague ‘entities” who might help pay operating and maintenance costs - not a comforting pay-back plan when we, the TAXPAYERS, will have to make up any short falls,
So, city council members, when you consider the natatorium, this TAXPAYER expects you to be involved in the discussions, challenge facts and figures, probe deeply, ask tough-minded questions, and understand completely where the money to operate and maintain the natatorium is going to come from.